Visiting Naples, Italy

Italians have a popular saying “vedi Napoli e poi muori” or “See Naples and die!”. This isn’t intended as a kind of threat, but it refers to the overwhelming beauty of the city. Naples is more than an European city and we could also find that it is full of passion and full of life. It is probably one of the most magical, vibrant and colourful city in Europe. Unfortunately, Naples is often seen as chaotic with vespas and cars racing around the road with little attention to those traffic lights. The Camorra or the Neapolitan mafia is still operating in the city. Despite some crime problems, Naples is still far from boring for many travellers.

Around the city, we could find many museums and churches, which show the rich culture and art of the city. When we go to Naples, it should be easy to feel the whole historical essence of the city. There are more than enough cultural and artistic elements in the city. In the Centro Storico, all the buildings still have their original designs and the Palazzis could date back to the twelfth century. Many of the original palazzis was constructed by the Neapolitan royalties. Today, they have been converted to residence or bed & breakfast for tourists. Naples also have an underground city and the nearby Port Alba, there are some Greek ruins.

Many of these architectural and archeological ruins are still frequented by students. In the Via dei Tribunali, there’s an excellent shopping center and it is the place where we can see the dustiness of the city. It could be one of the least appealing places in Naples in terms of visual beauty, but we could still find it a good place for shopping. Near the market, there’s the Piazza Plebiscito, which is certainly an attractive piazza with its beautiful architecture. Next to it, there’s an old and famous restaurant that’s been established since the middle of 19th century. The Caffe Gambrinus. It is said that Oscar Wilde often spent a lot of time in the premise during his stay in Naples. The nearby Chiaia district is a desirable district in the central Naples with plenty of restaurants, bars and designer shops.

In general, Neapolitans are known for being expressive and very passionate. When we discuss with them about something, they may talk like there is no tomorrow. They habitually raise their voices and move their hands. Foreigners may think that it is an attempt to argue, but if we listen longer, we would know that’s merely a simple discussion about soccer or a new pasta recipe.

Like in many areas of Italy, Naples is known for its outdoor culture and the relatively warm Mediterranean weather offer plenty of comfort for foreigners. We could see many children, teenagers and adults hanging around and walking around.